Although much of your time in China will ultimately be spent teaching English, you’ll still have plenty of time for leisure activities.

Here are some typically Chinese ones you might get into!


Ask any Chinese person what karaoke is and they will have no idea; ask them about KTV and their eyes will light up! 

In China, karaoke is known as KTV. The main difference between the two is that KTV is enjoyed in private rooms with friends, not in front of strangers. 

It’s a popular pastime loved by people of all ages, especially younger people. Often combined with alcohol in the evening, KTV is a very social activity. 

There’s a broad selection of both Chinese and English songs to choose from, and certainly no shortage of big ballads and cheesy ‘classics’ from days gone by. 

If you’re invited to participate, accept the offer as it may be considered impolite otherwise. Don’t worry if you have a terrible singing voice – just have a go! 

Public dancing

At first you may be amused, but eventually you may join in with the groups of mostly middle-aged women dancing in public places. 

Yes, public dancing is a 'thing' in China. It's done for fitness, learning traditional dance moves and for socialising. 

People usually dance to traditional music (which tends to be on the slower side) broadcast from a large, portable stereo and amplifier. 

Don’t expect to become an expert on your first go – some of the more experienced dancers have been doing it for years. 

Popular sports in China

Basketball, badminton and table tennis are hugely popular in China. You could join an existing game or team, or even start your own. 

China is a big country, and there’s a lot of ground to cover. Why not buy a cheap bike and explore your surroundings on two wheels? 

If you’re not sports-minded, grab some of your fellow teachers and get lost in the side streets – you’ll never know what you might find! Beijing-based teachers can enjoy exploring the famous ancient hutongs, or alleyways, by foot.

With a range of leisure activities available, teaching English in China can be a rewarding and fun experience!